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Polar bears are new entrants to the Google family. The search engine has added them to the natural splendor at its free online mapping service.
Members of the Google Maps team joined forces with non-profit group Polar Bears International to venture into tundra in a remote part of Canada’s Churchill, Manitoba, late last year for images of the majestic animals waiting for sea ice to freeze.
Polar bears range the tundra in quests for food and mates.
The initiative by Google comes at a time when their population is being threatened by warming global temperatures.
Apart from getting close looks at polar bears in their natural environment, experts said, images and data collected will serve as baseline measures of the effects global warming is having on the creatures and the area.
Google’s mission to add natural wonders to “Street View” imagery in online maps has included venturing to the Brazilian rain forest and the Galapagos Islands, as well as scaling mountains and diving under the sea.